Tallest Stupa in ancient world: Jethawanaramaya Dagoba | Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

The ancient city of Anuradhapura is a UNESCO world heritage site and has several magnificent monuments which includes some of the tallest structures of ancient world:  Jetavanaramaya Dagoba, Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba and Abhayagiri Dagoba. The first 2 are close to each other while the third one is around 5km away from them. A Buddhist stupa is known as Dagoba in Sri Lanka and it contains the holy relics of Buddha. Jethawanaramaya has a part of belt worn by Buddha. It was built as a result of the rising rivalry between the 2 sects prominent sects of Buddhism. The King Mahasena was loyal to Theravada sect and he ransacked the monastery of Mahayana sect. After plenty of negotiations with his minister Meghavannabhaya who led a rebellion, the King apologized and agreed to construct Jetavanaramaya Dagoba for the Mahayana sect.

This dagoba is also one of the largest brick structures in the world and was the tallest stupa of the world until Phra Pathommachedi was built in 1870. Around 93 million bricks were used to build this structure. There were no visitors at the dagoba and hence the area was very serene whereas devotees thronged at the nearby Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba and were enthusiastically decorating it.

Recommended length of visit is 30-60 minutes and also be aware of the troop of monkeys stationed here. Carry plenty of water and sunblock as the heat can be very tiring.

Visited on August 2nd, 2015. Click images to view larger